MOSCOW - Russian President Vladimir Putin says he is certain that the Winter Olympics next year in Sochi will be successful despite concerns about construction delays and huge cost overruns.
Asked in a nationally televised question-and-answer session on Thursday to comment on media reports of corruption and quality problems in building the Olympic facilities, Putin said "I am absolutely convinced that everything that needs to be done to prepare for the Olympics will be completed with proper quality and in time."
In February, Putin demanded the firing of the deputy head of the Russian Olympic Committee, Akhmad Bilalov, over construction of the ski jump complex. Its cost soared from $40 million to $265 million and was behind schedule. Bilalov, who led the company building the ski jump, resigned.